tv Global 3000 PBS September 9, 2017 12:30am-1:01am PDT
>> this week, "global 3000" heads to the west coast of africa, where plastic trash poses a challenge for the island state of sao tomé and principe. what's the solution? in toronto, artists can rent affordable spaces in expensive city districts. we find out more. but first, we go to a zambian forest that draws millions of migratory fruit bats every year. >> they're like precisely choreographed dances -- flocks of birds in motion. but, why do wild ducks move in sync when they're disturbed? and just how do birds and fish coordinate their movements so
perfectly? by moving in shoals, fish are less likely to be eaten by predators. but are there other reasons too? and how do monarch butterflies always know to migrate to the same region in mexico every year even though they've never been there before? nature is full of mysteries like these. and there are so many questions still to be answered. our reporter jürgen schneider visited zambia's kasanka national park to witness the world's greatest mammal migration. jurgen: it gets busy in october in zambia's kasanka national park. that's when the fruit bats arrive. >> the bats come from the drc, but also other colonies in zambia.
they come here because this time of the year the fruits are ready they're ripened. mainly, they're feeding on local masuku fruits and waterberries, but also other fruit they just have in the villages like mango and bananas -- any fruit they can find. >> every time i see it it's amazing. i mean, it's funny, at the start of the bat season when the bats first started arriving, we decided to come around to see how many there were. and even just coming down right at the start when there are maybe only 10,000 or 20,000, we would be blown away. jurgen: the bats' arrival marks the beginning of high season for dion scott. he's the park manager. and kasanka is the destination of the world's largest mammal migration. no one knows exactly why the fruit that grows here annually draws in some ten million of the animals, many of which fly
great distances. but throughout africa, their habitat is under threat. >> the main challenges for the bats are loss of habitat. so, they roost in forests and through this part of africa in rainforests mainly. the bat forest itself is very small. it's only about one kilometer long and 400 or 500 meters wide. the main threat in the forest here in kasanka is fire. >> earlier in the year, a big fire came through this part of the bat forest and the soil in this area is a peat soil and it burns, so the fire comes in underground and burns out the roots of the trees. and that's what happened to this tree it's burnt up inside the tree and it completely killed it. jurgen: the fires are often laid by poachers. they burn the grass away so that it grows back faster.
fresh grass tempts antelopes to the open clearings where the poachers can pick them off. the authorities try to prevent poaching with firebreaks and regular patrols, but the many people living on the edges of the park see the animals mainly as a source of food. >> if we see any sign, we go for an ambush. let's say for instance we saw footprints entering the park through the path, we have to go there and lay an ambush and if we are inside the park and we heard a gun shot we have to make a follow up. like at night, they use torches to shine. you can see a torch in the distance and you have to track them. jurgen: education is important because the locals tend to be
frightened of the nocturnal animals. bats are associated with disease and sorcery. so the project regularly invites parties of schoolchildren from the surrounding communities to enjoy the spectacle. a guide explains the fruit bats' way of life on location. that helps change attitudes towards the harmless mammals. it's usually the first time children have seen the natural marvel that takes place right on their doorstep. >> after teaching the young ones, these young ones will take their messages to their parents. if the parents can know about bats then we are going to have
a lot of bats in kasanka. a lot of people in the community have a misconception about bats because they are nocturnal animals. so other people say that most of the witchcraft uses bats, but looking at the way they are, they are not. they are just straw colored fruit bats. jurgen: it costs a lot of money to protect the bats and financing is hard to come by. tourism generates most of the necessary income. people who come to the park have money. a stay here isn't cheap, but the project needs the funds to survive. >> we came here because it is a different part of africa a part of a forest here in africa where i've never been to before.
the bats were here but excitment is also the number of falcons which are gathering as well. jurgen: the fruit bats play an important role in the ecosystem here. they're food for many predators and they also spread seeds with their droppings. a bat can can fly up to 100 kilometers a night in kasanka park. with the forest here now protected, dion scott says the flying mammals can live here undisturbed. >> i think there is a great future for them as long as we can continue to protect the habitat that they come to roost in and that they come to feed on. we're doing our absolute best to try and protect them and as long as we can keep doing it they have a great future here at kasanka. jurgen: there's no real quiet here until the end of the year when the bats take off again.
but next year, millions of them will be back in this little corner of protected forest in northeastern zambia. >> people display swarming behaviours too. particularly in cities. it's called gentrification. a slightly run-down district, but well situated with cheap rents -- perfect for young people and artists. after a while, new businesses open and the area starts to attract families and people with higher incomes. they like its alternative, creative feel. that brings it to the attention of investors and estate agents. it becomes trendy and worth investing in. rents creep up, then soar and the original residents are forced out. it's common in cities all over the world, including toronto in canada, but it doesn't have to be that way.
>> jessica runge is a professional contemporary dancer based in toronto. she had a hard time finding affordable rehearsal space. rents in the city are high. she eventually got lucky. now, she works here in a studio that belongs to the organization artscape, a non-profit urban development initiative. >> there's a great story actually. this building was here for a long time, not being used at all. and usually when that happens downtown, the building gets turned into condominiums, and so in this case, artscape stepped in and the building was repurposed so that artists could work here and have studios.
>> tim jones is the founder of the artscape initiative and the driving force behind it. he wholeheartedly believes arts and culture have the power to transform cities and communities. gentrification is rampant in toronto. property prices in canada's financial capital have skyrocketed. the regent park housing development used to be a deprived area, but these days, it's been transformed into a mix of glass highrises and luxury apartments. but it's also home to one of artscape's cultural centers, funded by real estate companies and public subsidies.
>> artscape's role in the revitalization of regent park is to really imagine and determine what role culture can play in this dramatic, changing context. we've created a 60,000 square foot community cultural hub. that's helping to rewrite the narrative of regent park, one that has been stigmatised into one that is more reflective of the incredibly diverse and talented population that lives here. >> the venue is a place where that population can explore their creativity. freelancers working in the arts can rent affordable space here. it's lunch time in the center's rooftop restaurant. in a way, tim jones is an intermediary between toronto's property sharks and its lively arts scene.
>> we're not fighting over getting a larger slice of the pie for this group or that group. it's about baking a bigger pie together, and when that happens, everyone can win and we can really leverage the power of culture to make change in a community like this. >> a former theater manager, jones believes that creative communities need to sell themselves more. he himself isn't shy about coming forward. the toronto waterfront is one of the most ambitious real estate projects in north america. the area is being redeveloped and it's costing billions. artscape is on board. jones says that property developers have a vested interest in supporting the creative sector. >> all these gleaming glass buildings, they'll be all kinds
of new infrastructure. but where's the soul of the community? where's the life, where's the energy of that community going to come from? that's where the arts create immense, enormous value. it's actually what creates pride of place. that's what's so valuable and it's what others see as so valuable in the work we're doing. >> queen west is toronto's hippest neighbourhood. grocery stores here have given way to galleries. but what started as urban regeneration has now begun to negatively impact local communities. in the past, the city's creative types were drawn here by cheap rents. but property speculators have put an end to those days. here too, gleaming glass buildings are going up on every corner. artscape is doing its bit to resist this change by creating and protecting space for the arts and culture.
the initiative now has a portfolio of over a dozen properties -- creative hubs where thousands of people have found a place to live and work. and tim jones has plans to expand artscape to secure safe space for arts and culture to flourish in other canadian cities too. >> and now, we head to another pricey city, hong kong, to visit the schmierer family in global living rooms.
>> hello, welcome to our apartment. >> please come in. >> please come in. have a look. >> when you look out there, it's one of the best views of hong kong, i claim it to be. >> you can see over there is our small beach where we can bring gabriella every weekend. >> farther away, you would see the aiport. down there, you can see the ships running back and forth from and to macao. >> let me introduce. this is stefan. this is me and gabriella. >> biblical saying about the endlessness of love.
>> we have stefan's name in chinese. stefan in chinese is -- and then we got some accessory from when we were travelling. this is from bali, a gekko. >> it's one of the most important parts of our home. that's our mini-bar with bottles from all over the world. whenever we go travelling, we try to make a stop somewhere in a duty-free shop so some nice whiskeys from scotland and ireland. snowy is a sad bear >> what is his name? >> his name is snowy.
this is one of our decorations. it signifies wealthy and good luck. and good health for the family. >> thank you for visiting us. bye bye. >> and now, we're off to the tropics to the small island state of sao tomé and principe, a former portuguese colony in the gulf of guinea, near the equator. our reporter vanessa fischer visited the smaller of the two islands, principe, which is a mere 140 square kilometers in size. unesco declared it a biosphere reserve in 2012. a lot has changed since then, especially when it comes to attitudes about plastic waste.
>> leve, leve. take it easy, as they say in principe. but not when it comes to environmental protection. 24-year-old cileine fernandes has a long hot day ahead of her. >> good morning. i've come for the plastic bottles. it's exchange day today. so how's it going, is everything ready? >> a lot of bottles have piled up in her grandmother's backyard. every couple of months, it's time to get rid of them. >> aren't there any more lying around? we've got to collect the whole lot.
>> the bottles are valuable because they can be exchanged. >> everybody wants the biosphere bottles. it really motivates the kids more than anyone else. they collect as many as they can, so you hardly see any lying in the streets now. >> everyone wants to trade in their bottles. the lucky ones can hop on board for a ride. the most popular means of getting around here anyway. >> it's busy at the collection site and stays that way the whole day long. the locals settle in for an extended, patient wait. fernandes works for the biosphere reserve and helps with the counting. the main cause of the glut of plastic bottles is the palm oil used for cooking here. there's a collection every couple of months. a total of 450,000 bottles have been collected so far. 50 plastic bottles can be exchanged for one made of
stainless steel. many of the people in line already have a collection of the metal bottles at home. >> i fill the bottle with water so i have something to drink at school. >> what's your name, sweetheart? >> they have to have exactly 50 plastic bottles. >> what color do you want? red or gold? if you bring me 10 more plastic bottles, you'll get another one, ok? >> we've already got four tons of plastic stored up on the main island, sao tomé. a logistics company is helping us tackle it. it takes the plastic to lisbon free of charge and two recycling companies there are willing to deal with it all. >> it wasn't easy to find them.
no one was willing to pick up the island nation's garbage. the exchange program costs about 30,000 euros to run annually. and in a year, it needs fresh funding, but plans are already in the pipeline. >> we've already ordered a machine which makes plastic thread out of the bottles. we can work with it to make baskets and other things. that'll be super. >> principe is trying hard to be environmentally sustainable. it's a constant balancing act. the needs of almost 8000 inhabitants have to be taken into account and so does protecting one of the most important and species-rich forests in africa. the island has been a unesco biosphere for four years, a status the islanders treasure. most of them live from niche agricultural products and tropical fruits. and cocoa, a portuguese colonial legacy. the economy here isn't self-supporting.
a lot needs to be imported which generates lot of garbage. regional president josé cardoso cassandra has ambitious plans. he wants to levy a stiff tax on all plastic bags and bottles that come to principe. >> we're talking to the traders and telling them change your ways. use different packaging, glass or large metal containers, things that don't prevent us from becoming a plastic free island, or to at least to reduce the quantities over the long term. >> but what about the plastic washed up by the sea? the island invited spanish scientist maite asensio to inspect its beaches for microplastic granules.
she says most of the microplastics get deposited at the high tide mark. she's been doing these kind of measurements on the canary islands for a year. it's and easy and effective method. >> it's mostly organic. >> is that good? >> yes, it's a good sign. the beach seems to be very clean, but some fibers can't be seen with the naked eye. some of it looks like hair but it could be plastic. it needs to be analyzed. >> and a low count in the sand doesn't necessarily mean a low count at sea. >> our samples on gran canaria for instance are full of microplastics. there's a visible difference. everything that's organic material on principe is plastic there. it's a disgrace. >> there's no mass tourism here and the locals want to keep it
that way, but the island does need jobs and income. it helps that 70% of principe's trash is organic. the women compost it into fertilizer, a new cottage industry for the island, and new for celeine fernandez also. the compost piles need to be turned over three times a week. it's hard labor. >> this is really bad. it's plastic. >> the women say batteries are the worst. if even one sneaks in, it quickly poisons the compost. the woman have been specially trained. >> once we'd had the training, i also started collecting organic garbage at home. and i started to make my own compost. >> in three months, the first batches of principe compost go on sale. they're already advertising with farmers. and hope they'll soon be reaping their rewards. >> the work means a lot to all of us.
we didn't have a job before. we're happy. it gives our children a future. and we're not going to stand still. we're determined to get something going for the next generation. >> and there won't be much time for leve, leve until it's done. >> and that's all from "global 3000" this time. we're back next week and we love hearing from you so drop us a line and visit our facebook page, dwglobalsociety.
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